Back in 2011, several electric car models were produced but many of them limited to a distance and performance of about 100 miles. None of its target markets responded well; so Chevrolet released its own take that responded to the need for zero-emissions but with that necessary practicality and range for the road. It’s not purely an electric car, but neither is it a hybrid. Instead it shares the same technology and platform as the Ampera, runs according to a battery but has a 1.4-litre petrol generator that brings the car back to life when the electricity power is flat.
Forget any assumption that this vehicle would be slow and boring to drive. Instead you’d be pleasantly surprised by the Volt’s maximum pulling power, especially when you’re coming from a total standstill. Expect to arrive at 60mph from zero in just 9 seconds—a time that’s much faster than the standard diesel and petrol vehicles. When only running on electric power, the Volt is able to cover 50 miles. The 1.4-litre petrol generator starts to work after, which continues up to 310 miles. Smooth performance continues to be delivered even after you tail off from 45mph and decide to overtake. No need for any gear changes as power is delivered without any interruptions.
Handling is pretty impressive despite the Volt’s 1,715kg weight. Body roll isn’t excessive at all even during cornering, while traction and stability maintain control of the vehicle’s large frame so handling remains as smooth as possible. Suspension is also able to easily absorb crests and bumps. Expect equal smoothness as you drive through the steering wheel’s well-weighted and precise response.
The interior offers plenty of room for adults up front, making it a relaxing drive for both the passenger and the driver. Tyre and wind noise is kept at a minimum to assure such a relaxing experience. Low-rolling resistance tyres and aerodynamic low-drag body are responsible for the peaceful ride.
The interior is reminiscent of the Vauxhall, but this isn’t a bad thing as the Volt distinguished itself with a touch screen on its dash and another display in front of the driver. High technology lovers will definitely appreciate the seven-inch displays functionality and multiple readouts.
Families of four won’t have any problems taking the Volt around, making this model a viable alternative to the smaller saloons and conventional hatchbacks. Boot space is adequate at 310 litres and can be expanded to 1,005 litres when the rear seats are folded flat.
Space is limited out back and in the rear. Seating isn’t very comfortable either at the rear and headroom extremely limited for taller adult passengers. Legroom is also tight if front seat passengers decide to recline or move their seats backwards. Boot space is adequate and can become larger with rear seats folded, but there is no division placed between rear seats and the boot itself. The space itself is also rather shallow, making it a challenge to fit and lift heavy objects into the boot itself. But space limitations aside, the Volt is a practical vehicle for anyone who values fuel economy and prefers the electrically powered motion of its motor.
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